HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Brian Chenvert and Eddie Kenneally’s Girls Know Best knew her way home through the entire trip, wiring the field in Saturday’s $175,000 Ladies’ Turf Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Off sharply from the rail under Javier Castellano, Girls Know Best jumped right to the lead with the favored Blue Bahia flanking her to the outside and set an initial fraction of :22.31. Off the far turn, the two were set down for the stretch drive and Blue Bahia began making a move on the leader when she took a misstep and was pulled up. That gave Girls Know Best the all-clear, and she held off her remaining foes to win by 3/4 of a length in a final time of :56.45 for the 5-furlong event.
“I had a perfect trip,” Castellano said. “I had the speed, I was inside on the rail, I used her enough to secure my spot and dictate the pace, go to the lead and blow the field wire to wire. I felt like there was a horse that was going to go by, but I didn’t realize what exactly happened. I just stayed focused on my horse to try to get to the wire first. Anytime you’re on the lead and close to the wire you feel like, ‘I did my job,’ and I’m very proud for the horse.”
Longshot Just Talkin was up for second over Cherry Lodge, while Justa Lady beat Pretty Perfection to the wire for fourth. Code Warrior, Wealthy Shipman, Sylphide, Brandy’s Girl, Blue Bahia, Go Kart, and Cousin Claire completed the order of finish.
Immediately following her misstep, jockey Paco Lopez eased Blue Bahia while navigating her backwards through oncoming traffic. Luckily, no van was needed, and she was able to jog back to the paddock. Trainer Jason Servis’ initial post-race examination concluded that she was still in good shape.
“She’s fine, but she hit something in the track,” Servis said. “She jogged back perfect.”
Girls Know Best’s win was her first stakes victory after finishing second last out on this track and distance. The 4-year-old daughter of Caleb’s Posse, trained by Kenneally, improved her record to 12-7-1-1 with earnings of $211,274.
“She’s extremely quick,” Kenneally said. “Javier rode her here in the prep race and she was second. He rode her with some confidence and she has a lot of natural speed and was comfortable on the lead and it was a great result.”
Girls Know Best returned $13 to win, $7.40 to place, and $5 to show. Just Talkin brought back $17 to place and $10 to show, while Cherry Lodge paid $8.60 to show.